Polymerupdate global resin pricing: Asian, European resin prices still seek bottom

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November 14, 2008

Polymerupdate reports that high-density polyethylene (HDPE) sank below the $900/tonne CFR Asia price level, with injection-grade prices at $800 to $820/tonne CFR Far East Asia and South East Asia. HDPE film prices fell to $880/tonne CFR Asia, with Polymerupdate citing a plunge in ethylene feedstock prices coupled with soft buying as the culprit. Key regional players expect prices to continue to slide, according to Polymerupdate, with a four-week price forecast below $700/tonne.

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) prices also finished down, with CFR rates assessed at $1030 to $1040/tonne. A trader reached by Polymerupdate said the $150/tonne price drop last week, and other triple-digit adjustments, “are no more a novelty” in the market, with participants expecting spot LDPE prices over the next month to fall to between $850 to $900/tonne.

Injection and raffia polypropylene (PP) prices fell as low as $780/tonne, with film prices down to $810/tonne CFR. Traders contacted by Polymerupdate believe prices could test $600/tonne CFR before the end of November and might go lower if current trends in the upstream sector persist. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices hit $620 to $630/tonne CFR on weak demand and plunging ethylene, EDC, and VCM feedstock prices.

In European plastics pricing news, LLDPE prices fell in tandem with drops in ethylene feedstock and the sharp fall in HDPE and LDPE prices. Spot prices dipped to euro 1050/tonne FD North West Europe, falling sharply from euro 1115/tonne FD North West Europe the week before. In the contract market, butene-grade LLDPE fell to euro 1250/tonne FD.

Contract prices for HD injection injection grades were assessed at euro 1260/tonne FD North West Europe, with HD blowmolding at euro 1290/tonne FD North West Europe. HD film contract prices were seen at euro 1210/tonne FD.

In the spot markets too prices fell. The drop came on account of sliding ethylene feedstock rates, falling global energy prices, ample PE availability in Europe, plunging prices of PE in Asia, and of course the impact of a slowing global economy on buyer sentiments.

In the spot markets, HDPE injection moulding, blowmolding and film grade prices last week were assessed down at the euro 1100/tonne FD North West Europe. These prices represented a fall of about euro 50/tonne from the week before.

Spot PP prices fell to euro 950/tonne FD North West Europe for homopolymer grades, with copolymer spot prices down as well.

Contract PVC prices fell to euro 1045/tonne FD North West Europe, with spot prices down to euro 750/tonne FD North West Europe. Both contract and spot prices of PS fell, dropping to euro 1440/tonne FD North West Europe, with high-impact PS contract prices assessed at euro 1500/tonne FD North West Europe. In the spot market, GPPS prices fell to euro 1195/tonne FD North West Europe, while HIPS prices dropped to euro 1255/tonne. Spot ABS prices fell to euro 1310/tonne FD North West Europe, down from euro 1585/tonne FD.

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